October 3. Demonstration Held in Rome to Defend Media Freedom

Freedom of Press in danger in Italy

Tomorrow “October 3rd a demonstration will be held in Rome [3:30 pm, piazza del Popolo] to defend media freedom—not in a remote dictatorship, but in Italy itself. Journalists who have called the protest have good reason to worry. In Freedom House’s 2009 survey of media independence, Italy was downgraded to ‘partly free’ and placed 73rd in a list of 195 countries (only just above Bulgaria.) In this respect, at least, Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy is distancing itself from western Europe and becoming more like weaker democracies farther east.” [The Economist, Muzzling the messengers, Oct 1st 2009, Rome]

The British weekly paper thus concludes:

“Not since Mussolini’s time has an Italian government’s interference with the media been more blatant or alarming. Journalists, and other Italians, have every reason to protest.”

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Additional Info

An article on this demonstration written by Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah, is published concurrently by The (London) Times, Die Zeit, El Pais and Le Figaro.

Here some basic information about Berlusconi’s power over the Italian media, plus a recent collection of international articles regarding Silvio Berlusconi.

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You can also read from our blog:

Is Berlusconi’s Power About to Decline?

Silvestri, Berlusconi and the Emperor Tiberius

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I understand Berlusconi owns most newspapers and several television stations, no wonder press freedom is going down the drain. He is THE BOSS.

    • Yes, he is a media magnate (plus prime minister!) trying to control everything but reaction against all this is growing in Italy. It was high time. Better late than never.

  2. Lack of press freedom and the control that the government exerts over RAI media outlets is disturbing to say the least since so many Italians get their news from the television, especially those who don’t have access to a computer or the internet to balance their news.

    When I was in Italy in June and there was that train accident in Viareggio, it was ironic that Rai news didn’t report about the crowd abuse when he visited the area, but it was widely reported in foreign news outlets.

    I hope that the demonstration is a great success!

    • Yes, right, the majority of Italians gets information from the TV (70%), and since our prime minister B. not only more or less controls state TV (=RAI, something a prime minister here usually does – bad, I know) but he also OWNS many private TV channels, we have an overall lack of information freedom.

      For example, the average European knows more about Berlusconi’s scandals than the average Italian. Unbelievable. To this we must add intimidation of any dissenter, no matter his/her ideas. Thanks to the courage of journalists like Santoro, Ezio Mauro, Travaglio etc. a big reaction is growing.

      I also do hope the demonstration will be a success. People should understand freedom is not a question of left or right, it belongs to all.

      Thanks for stopping by Keith.

  3. Hope the demonstration is a success.

    • Your support warms me up Poonam.

  4. hmmm… may people win! :)

  5. I, too, hope the demonstration is a success.

    It’s true MoR that strange things are going on here.

    I really hope that nobody manages to ban my favourite Italian documentary, Report. That really would be a great shame, and a clear indication, to me anyway, that freedom of the press no longer exists in Italy.

    Best,

    Alex

    • Today we can say that the demonstration was a great success. I was there and I can testify it.

      Now two other important things are at stake: 1) the ruling last Monday by a judge that Silvio Berlusconi had shared responsibility for corruption in buying the publishing company Mondadori, and 2) we are waiting for the verdict of Italy’s top court on the legitimacy of the law that guarantees Berlusconi’s immunity. If this law is considered illegitimate Mr Berlusconi could be back on trial.

  6. Forza la libertà Italiana!

    You know where I stand on issues of freedom and liberty.

    The power of government and corporate interests have converged to conspire against the interest of liberty.

    My tolerance, as you know, of bureaucracy is scant.

    As for the press, the situation is not that better here. Freedom of the press and speech MUST be defended.

    • As for the press, the situation is not that better here.

      Well, I don’t know, though I don’t think you have a prime minister who is also a media tycoon.

  7. [...] Restrictions on press freedom have not gone unnoticed in Italy.  Oh no.  See this post over on Man of Roma’s interesting blog: October 3. Demonstration Held in Rome to Defend Media Freedom. [...]

  8. [...] Great Man (and Don Juan) Is Berlusconi’s Power About to Decline? October 3. Demonstration Held in Rome to Defend Media Freedom Published [...]


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